Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Valrhona Ampamakia

Lindy's Rating: 8.0 (previously ***)
Richard's Rating: 8.0 (previously ***)

chocolate makerValrhona
cacao treesTrinitario
size75g ~ 2.6oz
cocoa solids64%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price$7.99

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1317 Bitter Chocolate
texturesmooth with text imprints and scoring
aromaearthy (musty), spice, sweet, berry, vanilla, hint of citrus
tastesweet, citrus (tangerine), berry (strawberry), buttery, vanilla
meltmore smooth
finishslightly bitter
At the recent blind chocolate tasting, we tried Valrhona's Ampamakia as a representative of cacao grown in Madagascar. Ampamakia is one of Valrhona's three single plantation bars (the other two being Gran Couva and Palmira). According to a representative, the Millot plantation where they grow the cacao beans for Ampamakia has exclusively Trinitario trees. The best before date on the bar we reviewed was February 2011.

The aroma of this bar was earthy, perhaps musty, with some spice. We could also smell its sweetness, along with berry, vanilla, and a hint of citrus. Upon tasting, the first thing nearly everyone noticed was its surprising sweetness for a dark chocolate bar, and then citrus, later clarified as tangerine, berry which Lindy concluded was strawberry, a buttery flavor, and some vanilla. Ampamakia had a smoother melt, short length, and slight bitterness of better chocolates.

Ultimately, this chocolate was well liked, placing second overall in the blind tasting. The only complaint was a bit too much sugar.

Unfortunately, we did not take an opportunity to photograph the opened chocolate bars at the tasting, so I only have a picture of the wrapper.

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